Mormons celebrate 200th anniversary of Brigham Young's birth

Posted: Friday, June 08, 2001

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Brigham Young, the man who took the Mormon church to Utah and made it thrive, was remembered by church members on the 200th anniversary of his birth.

Born June 1, 1801, Young was the second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He led the first party of Mormons to settle Utah in 1847, and later directed the emigration of 70,000 who came to Utah along the Mormon Trail.

The Brigham Young Family Society, which tracks his descendants and holds annual gatherings in his honor, dedicated a statue to commemorate Young's birth near his downtown Salt Lake City grave site.

Young directed church members to settle as many as 400 communities throughout the West, including Las Vegas and San Bernadino, Calif.

Young was born in Whitingham, Vt. He grew up in New York state and converted to the Mormon church in 1832, two years after it was organized, assuming leadership after founder Joseph Smith was assassinated in 1844. Young led the faithful to one settlement after another, moving on when persecution grew too severe.

He founded Salt Lake City in 1847 and was elected governor of Utah -- then called Deseret -- in 1849. He died in 1877.


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